For this project, we have set up a shared Google Drive folder, this allows for very easy file sharing and Google Drive offers very good collaboration between users. This makes life a whole lot easier as we are not always working in the same room as each other, so being able to upload a file and have it immediately available to everyone in the group.
Along with Drive, we have also set up a shared Google Calendar between the members of the group. Each member has their own colour on the calendar and every week we set out what each member has to do work wise for the following week. This allows us to always be able to check in on the work that’s due without having to be ringing or texting each other to find out. This allows for work to be done in a much more efficient way and everyone is always on the same page. We have also shared this calendar with our mentor, Siobhan. This way, she can see what we’re doing and when, so it makes it much easier to schedule the mentor meetings and overall it just makes for an easier and more efficient workflow for the project.
Ironically enough, Facebook was a great help to our collaboration throughout the duration of the project. A lot of the points covered throughout our booklet can be directly related back to Facebook, but since we set up a secret group for our project it served us well for posting updates to each other in a place where it could be almost guaranteed that the members of the group would see it. We never used the Facebook group for the actual transfer of files, we made sure to keep those separate for issues with Facebook’s terms of service and the ownership of intellectual property posted on the site, but it was a good means of contact throughout the year.
Asana is the project management software which was implemented by the college a little bit into the second semester. We already had quite a good collaborative workflow going with our shared Google Drive, shared Google Calendar and the correspondence on our secret Facebook group. But, the ability to assign tasks to members on Asana, with the tasks syncing up to the calendar within it automatically, it meant that once the task was set, we did not have to go to Google Calendar and input the deadlines ourselves. Also, Asana has an integrated notification system so once a task is falling due, you can set a time to be alerted via email by Asana so it’s very handy for keeping on top of your work and deadlines.
As well as the weekly mentor meetings, we have been organising 3 – 4 separate group meetings each week. We found that meeting more than just the scheduled meetings with our mentor was very beneficial as it’s easier to bounce ideas off each other and develop them further when we’re all in the same place. Google Drive and Calendar can only offer so much collaboration, when it comes to the work for this project, nothing beats meeting up as a group and getting the work done.
Along with the group meetings, we often had conference calls on Skype in the evenings when we working on our assigned tasks. Skype was extremely helpful because if there was a point being discussed on the call, we could work on it while on the call rather than being on the phone and only being able to work on the point discussed after the fact. This meant that we were consistent in our work and there were much less misunderstandings within it.